Roma

Enrico Rava, Joe Lovano

EN / DE
Recorded live at Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica last November, this album documents the meeting of the doyen of Italian jazz, Enrico Rava, with Joe Lovano, masterful US tenorist of Sicilian heritage. Rava and Lovano front a spirited quintet that includes lyrical pianist Giovanni Guidi, dynamic drummer Gerald Cleaver and rising star bassist Dezron Douglas (who makes his ECM debut here). Well-loved tunes by the two bandleaders form the core of the programme, including Enrico’s intricate “Interiors” and “Secrets” and Joe’s vigorous Texas blues “Forth Worth”, which recalls the energies of Ornette and Dewey Redman. The programme concludes with an extended and powerful medley that roams across the history of modern jazz as it gathers together Lovano’s “Drum Song”, John Coltrane’s “Spiritual” and the standard tune “Over The Rainbow”.
Dieses Album, das im November letzten Jahres im Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rom aufgenommen wurde, dokumentiert die Begegnung des Dekans des italienischen Jazz, Enrico Rava, mit Joe Lovano, dem amerikanischen Tenorsaxophisten sizilianischer Herkunft. Rava und Lovano leiten ein temperamentvolles Quintett mit dem lyrisch spielenden Pianisten Giovanni Guidi, dem dynamischen Schlagzeuger Gerald Cleaver und dem aufstrebenden Star-Bassisten Dezron Douglas (der hier sein ECM-Debüt gibt). Bekannte Stücke der beiden Bandleader bilden den Kern des Programms, darunter Enricos komplizierte "Interiors" und "Secrets" und Joes kraftvollen Texas-Blues "Forth Worth", der an die Energien von Ornette und Dewey Redman erinnert. Das Programm endet mit einem ausgedehnten, starken Medley, das durch die Geschichte des modernen Jazz streift und dabei Lovanos "Drum Song", John Coltranes "Spiritual" und den Standard "Over The Rainbow" vereint.
Featured Artists Recorded

November 2018, Sala Sinopoli, Auditorium Parco Della Musica, Rome

  • 1Interiors
    (Enrico Rava)
    15:03
  • 2Secrets
    (Enrico Rava)
    09:47
  • 3Fort Worth
    (Joe Lovano)
    12:32
  • 4Divine Timing
    (Joe Lovano)
    09:57
  • 5Drum Song / Spiritual / Over The Rainbow
    (Joe Lovano, John Coltrane, E.Y. Harburg, Harold Arlen)
    18:49
‘Fort Worth’ ist ein hinreissender 24-taktiger Up-Tempo-Blues, der Ornette Coleman und Dewey Redman die Ehre erweist. Da bebt die Sala Sinopoli, und die anschliessende Komposition ‘Divine Timing’, die Lovano eigens für diese Formation geschrieben hat, macht ihrem Titel alle Ehre.
Manfred Papst, NZZ am Sonntag
 
Beiden gemeinsam ist das vom kreativen Aspekt her äußerst ergiebige Spannungsverhältnis zwischen einer umfassenden Kenntnis der Jazztradition und dem stets präsenten Wunsch, auf möglichst unausgetretenen Pfaden musikalisches Neuland zu entdecken. Unter solchen Bedingungen fühlt sich aber auch der einfallsreiche und wendige Pianist Giovanni Guidi besonders wohl, der einstmals von Rava einer breiteren Öffentlichkeit bekannt gemacht wurde und nun mit dem sehr erfahrenen und dynamischen Drummer Gerald Cleaver und dem vielbeschäftigten und in Jazz-Kreisen wegen seiner kraftvollen Virtuosität hoch gehandelten jungen Kontrabassisten Dezron Douglas eine hochkarätige Rhythm Section für dieses Quintett-Projekt zusammengestellt hat. Sie legen eine funkensprühende, facettenreiche und experimentierfreudige Basis für die zwischen eleganter Coolness und kraftvollem Feuer changierenden Flügelhorn-Soli Enrico Ravas, dem man es keineswegs anmerkt, dass er dieser Tage seinen 80. Geburtstag gefeiert hat. Der für seine lyrische Raffinesse bekannte Guidi zeigt sich auch von einer ungewohnt kraftvoll zupackenden Seite, und Joe Lovano schöpft die expressiven Möglichkeiten des Tenorsaxophons auf seine gewohnt beeindruckende Weise voll aus.
Peter Füßl, Kultur
 
Eine perfekte italienisch-US-amerikanische Verbrüderung in Sachen Jazz. Im Mittelpunkt stehen dabei Rava und Lovano, zwei mit allen Wassern des Jazz der letzten Jahrzehnte gewaschene Melomanen, die einander bei dem Konzert, das sie im vergangenen November in Rom gaben, anstacheln, anheizen, und ein Feuer entfachen wie es sein soll. […] Es ist eine Freude zu hören, wie sich die beiden umgarnen, wie der eine Motive aus dem Spiel des anderen aufgreift, kommentiert, weiterspinnt. Großer Jazz.
Stefan Hentz, Jazzthing
 
Deux sommets du jazz, musiciens d’expressivité intense, Enrico Rava, au bugle, et Joe Lovano, au saxophone ténor. Compositions qui prennent le temps de s’installer, improvisations, final somptueux par l’enchaînement du furieux ‘Drum Song’ de Lovano qui mène au lyrisme de ‘Spiritual’ de John Coltrane jusqu’à l’épure d’ ‘Over the Rainbow’. Superbe alliance du duo rythmique, Dezron Douglas (contrebasse) et Gerald Cleaver (batterie).
Sylvain Siclier, Le Monde
 
 Together on ‘Roma’ Enrico and Joe create a melancholic, philosophical sound: the Italian trumpet master adventurous and brave his beautiful tone whether on trumpet or flugel undiminished in no significant way by the ravages of living. An interior vision throughout the joy of the album is contained especially on the medley beginning with ‘Drum Song’ a piece by Lovano that seques into ‘Spiritual’ by John Coltrane and then the Harold Arlen standard ‘Over The Rainbow’. In this symphony of soaring spirits every element of this excellent live album is present. The fire inside burns and creates, the circle of life expressed and distilled to its very core.
Stephen Graham, Marlbank
 
Der Verdacht, dass Liveplatten lediglich ‘Nebenprodukte’ zur Überbrückung der Zeit bis zum nächsten Studioalbum seien, wird durch das im November vergangenen Jahres am genannten Ort aufgenommenen ‘Roma’ souverän widerlegt. Dass die beiden Stars Enrico Rava (tp) und Joe Lovano (ts) prominenter auf dem Cover figurieren, ist fast ein bisschen ungerecht. Natürlich ist es toll, wie sich die beiden auf ‘Fort Worth’ (im Übrigen die Geburtsstadt von Ornette Coleman) die Bälle zuwerfen, ohne in eitle Schaustellerei zu verfallen, aber was wirklich besticht, ist die Ensembleleistung dieses unglaublich alert und intelligent agierenden Quintetts, in dem Giovanni Guidi (p), Dezron Douglas (b) und Gerald Cleaver (dr) eine Weltklasse-Rhythmusgruppe bilden.
Klaus Nüchtern, Falter
 
Die beiden lassen sich und dem scharf konturiert phrasierenden Guidi viel Raum, verwickeln sich auch in schöne Zwiegespräche. Langer Atem, viel Feuer, auch dank der Omnipräsenz von Drummer Cleaver. Zwei schöne Vorlagen von Rava, drei von Lovano: sprühend junger Jazz von alten Herren.
Peter Rüedi, Weltwoche
 
Drums, Bass und der ausgezeichnete, lyrische Pianist Giovanni Guidi dehnen so umsichtig wie dicht die Räume für die Bläser […] Rava besetzt sie Davis-haft luftig, manchmal fast verspielt, mit knapp akzentuierten und flink fallenden Girlanden, Lovano füllt sie mit inspirierter, weit greifender und zuverlässig trittsicherer Beweglichkeit.
Markus Schneider, Rolling Stone (German Edition)
 
Eine exzellente Aufnahme […] Von Rava, mit elegant-coolen und kraftvoll-feurigen Soli, sind die komplexen, mit überraschenden Wendungen gespickten Nummern ‘Interiors’ und ‘Secrets’, von Lovano der eigens für das Ensemble geschriebene Titel ‘Divine Timing’. Neben dem Texas-Blues ‘Fort Worth’ ist ein Medley zu hören – mit ‘Drum Song’, bei dem Lovano die ungarische Tárogató, eine Art hölzernes Saxofon, spielt, beeindruckenden Improvisationen über John Coltranes ‘Spiritual’ und dem unverwüstlichen Evergreen ‘Over The Rainbow’.
Werner Rosenberger, Kurier Wien
 
The American saxophonist Joe Lovano and the Italian Enrico Rava on flugelhorn are two veteran improvisers who make a formidable pairing. They may come from different outposts of the jazz world: Rava has roots in the avant-garde; Lovano is acoustic post-bop, but on this live set they meld powerfully. Sometimes funky, sometimes meditative, each inspires the other. A third star here is Giovanni Guidi, Rava’s regular, classically influenced pianist. Like the best live jazz the set mixes melodic power, rhythmic acrobatics and free-spirited adventure.
John Bungey, The Times
 
A meeting between these two giants of the international jazz scene has been long overdue but now, that they are both ECM alumni, it is most timely and appropriate. Lovano having just recently joined the label with his `Trio Tapestry` release earlier this year is the newbie whereas Rava is a long established `old boy` whose involvement dates back to 1975. As well as sharing a common heritage – the one an Italian native, the other Italian/American of Sicilian descent – they align musically in that they are both avowed eclectics whose styles of playing combine textural and improvisational daring with a veneration of the jazz tradition suffused with a strong streak of romanticism […] In this enterprise they are aided to great effect by Guidi (a frequent collaborator with Rava) a pianist who moves between rubato abstraction and florid classicism and Americans, Douglas and Cleaver who hold the improvisational dialogue together as well as contributing massively to the music’s inner workings and shifting momentum.
Euan Dixon, Jazz Views
 
Together they front a spirited and lyrical quintet that includes the brilliant pianist Giovanni Guidi, the dynamic drummer Gerald Cleaver and rising star bassist Dezron Douglas. A quite formidable five-piece one might venture to suggest, and they certainly don’t disappoint. […] All of the two leader’s experience comes together throughout this wonderful album. One might have thought the pair may not sit that comfortably together in a musical sense, historically speaking, yet it would seem that as they have both matured in years, so has their musical approach, moving ever closer. Perhaps some collaborations rely on a certain sense of timing, and with this one, it would appear to have been the perfect time for the two masters of jazz to work together. The music is at times intense, but the nature is relaxed and I certainly get the impression that there’s a lovely openness and freedom of expression throughout the entire set. […] As ECM celebrates its 50th year, ‘Roma’ is yet another example of what makes this label so special. Wonderful, captivating jazz from a very special quintet of musicians.
Mike Gates, UK Vibe
 
This is a meeting of hearts and minds. It should have happened a long time ago, but much better late than never.
John Fordham, Jazzwise
 
El italiano Enrico Rava y, al otro lado del atlántico, Joe Lovano, son parte de esa élite; no tanto por su impresionante carrera, sino por la vigencia y riqueza de su música hoy. Tanto uno como otro han llegado a ese punto en el que, escuchándolos, se siente uno ante un artista total, que ha convertido su discurso en una identidad propia y rotunda, imprescindible para comprender la música de innumerables instrumentistas que han sido influenciados por ella. […] Qué hace tan grande a esta grabación? Para empezar, el encuentro inédito entre dos músicos como Rava y Lovano, mucho más que el leitmotiv de la sesión: ambos son creadores afines, y juntos generan una energía muy especial. Además, el resto del grupo mantiene el pulso, conformando un quinteto intercontinental compuesto por músicos extraordinarios de edades y procedencias diferentes: Giovanni Guidi, sin duda uno de los pianistas más elocuentes del siglo XXI, que protagoniza algunos de los momentos estelares del disco; Dezron Douglas, sólido contrabajista, muy activo en la escena neoyorquina; y Gerald Cleaver, uno de los bateristas más intuitivos y dinámicos que uno puede escuchar en la actualidad.
Yahvé M. de la Cavada, El Pais
 
Treasured pieces loved by both Rava and Lovano make up the heart of the performance. […] In ‘Secrets’, Rava and Lovano have the freedom to express their inner capabilities with fine solos displaying post-bop language as well as spacious melodic fragments. […] The album concludes with a medley of tracks from Lovano, Coltrane and Arlen. It begins with Lovano on the Hungarian tarogato which immediately draws the ear followed by a 3/4 modal feel, typical of Coltrane. The medley is brought to a sedate end as Guidi performs a graceful solo rendition of ‘Over The Rainbow.’ Positively well balanced with avant-garde material and modal repertoire, this album will cater for even the niche jazz aficionado. A captivating way to celebrate Rava’s 80th birthday.
Thomas Fletcher, Jazz Journal
 
This album, recorded in the Sala Sinopoli, part of the Parco Della Musica in Rome, captures the rich tones of Enrico Rava’s flugelhorn, Joe Lovano’s tenor saxophone and tarogato, as well as Giovanni Guidi’s piano, Dezron Douglas’s double bass and Gerald Cleaver’s drums, but it has much more: it has real ambience, too. The hall as the sixth member of the band, one might say. This means that the listener can sometimes feel that Lovano, for example, has stood aside on the stage to give room to the other soloists, and that he re-entered the five-way conversation while still a little way from the microphone. Bass and drums are further forward in the mix than is often the case, though this does not mean they dominate; it’s a lovely example of five players of equal voice rather than a horns and backing scenario. […] Guidi is in that long line of brilliant young pianists whom Rava has nurtured over the years and he shines all through this album, as does Douglas, alongside his older musical partners. That the album closes with Guidi alone in reflective mood rather than a humdinger of a whole-band grand finish is just one more reason why this is not your usual concert recording.
Peter Bacon, London Jazz News
 
‘Roma’ documents a November 10, 2018 concert at Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica, co-led by Lovano and Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava. Rava has been with ECM since 1975, when his playing leaned more toward free jazz. On ‘Roma’ he plays flugelhorn, the instrument’s warm tone emphasizing his tremendous lyricism and feeling, which recall the economy and precision of Miles Davis. Giovanni Guidi, who often appears as a sideman on Rava’s sessions, is the pianist; the quintet is completed by two Americans, bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Gerald Cleaver. […] Douglas and Cleaver are always dynamic and robust. Cleaver’s work in Lovano’s ‘Divine Timing’ combines finesse and strength, and throughout the concert he responds to and helps emphasize and clarify the work of the other players. Douglas’s bass lines flow easily, giving the sound fullness and the music a strong underpinning. […] ‘Roma’ is worth hearing for its documentation of the impressive interaction of two seasoned musicians — Rava is 80, Lovano 66 — with much younger players who encourage and push them to great heights. ‘Roma’ is an impressive entry in the discographies of both of these great jazz veterans, and an even more impressive entry in those of their sidemen.
Joseph Taylor, Soundstage Access
 
Tatsächlich ist die Musik des Albums genau an diesem Schnittpunkt situiert, wo sich das Jazzvokablular vom Postbop in die Gefilde des Free Playing verabschiedet. Eine Spielweise, die man beileibe nicht jeder Combo empfehlen kann. Aber mit dem agilen Drummer Gerald Cleaver und dem Bassisten Dezron Douglas entsteht ein druckvolles, manchmal funky-artiges Fundament, das gleichwohl frei aussschwingt. Zu hören sind Klassiker: ‘Over The Rainbow’ oder Rava-Standards wie ‘Interiors’ und der Album-Opener ‘Secrets’. Da darf schließlich Lovanos Texas-Blues-getränktes ‘Fort Worth’ nicht fehlen. Pianist Giovanni Guidi schlägt eher lyrische Töne an. Auch Rava bedient sich hier ausschließlich des weich klingenden Flügelhorns. Lovano aber flirtet im Ausdrucksradius ziemlich ungewohnt mit der Musik von Ornette Coleman oder Dewey Redman. Und streift in ‘Spiritual’ auch noch John Coltrane. So bewegt sich die Musik am Ende im raum – luzide und ungeheuer frei flottierend.
Tilman Urbach, Fono Forum (Five stars)
Enrico Rava, the doyen of Italian jazz, joined forces with Joe Lovano, masterful US tenorist of Sicilian heritage, for a brief tour in November 2018. On this album, recorded live at Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica, the two masters lead a spirited quintet that includes lyrical pianist Giovanni Guidi, dynamic drummer Gerald Cleaver and virtuosic bassist Dezron Douglas (making his ECM debut here). Well-loved tunes by the two bandleaders form the core of the programme, including Enrico’s intricate “Interiors” and “Secrets” and Joe’s vigorous Texas blues “Fort Worth”, as well as a Lovano original “Divine Timing”, written especially for this ensemble. The album concludes with an extended and powerful medley that roams across the history of modern jazz as it gathers together Lovano’s “Drum Song”, John Coltrane’s “Spiritual” and the standard tune “Over The Rainbow”.
Although they have known each other for a very long time, Rava and Lovano had scarcely played together previously. More than 20 years ago a handful of shared gigs with Miroslav Vitous and Tony Oxley gave a hint of potential to be explored, but the 2018 tour marked the first time that the two bandleaders had shaped and developed repertoire in tandem. Clearly, they share some aesthetic priorities – both might be described as tradition-conscious musical adventurers. Lovano recalls hearing Enrico for the first time in the 1970s: “You could always hear that he had a great passion for the music of Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Kenny Dorham and Dizzy Gillespie on one side – and for people like Don Cherry on the other side. And that openness and his huge passion about jazz really inspired me. So I thought, over the years, that we were meant to play together eventually. And now I am really happy about this album…”
 
For his part, Rava notes that “Joe is an absolute master and he plays with an incredible warmth. I feel very close to him since we both have roots deep in the tradition but also project into the future without any self-censorship.”
 
The inspired rhythm section was assembled by pianist Giovanni Guidi, formerly one of Rava’s gifted disciples and now a major bandleader in his own right (see for instance the recent album Avec le temps). Guidi and drummer Gerald Cleaver have participated in several projects together over the last decade including the ECM album Ida Lupino (with Gianluca Petrella and Louis Sclavis). And Giovanni and bassist Dezron Douglas have latterly collaborated in a quintet with trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso.
 
“They all listen and react to each other in a very beautiful manner,” says Lovano. “Giovanni Guidi is a very free player who often surprises us in a very stimulating way with his ideas. Dezron Douglas is a really serious strong bass player who acts with a thunderous bass approach, a driving force. And Gerald Cleaver is a very swinging drummer with a lot of propulsive and contrasting elements in his style that really support the way Giovanni and Dezron play. That rhythm section has a truly flowing, exploratory way of playing together.”
 
The album begins with Rava’s “Interiors” (previously heard on Enrico’s New York Days recording of 2008) and “Secrets” (a tune from the 1980s revived for The Words And The Days in 2005). Enrico: “I feel these are nice pieces to improvise on. Joe plays great on them and brings the music to such a level that it is very inspiring to play after his solos.” Heard exclusively on flugelhorn in this set, Rava plays with the singing sense of melodic invention that has long been a characteristic of his work, in and out of the free zone.
 
The ensemble flies into Lovano’s “Fort Worth” with great abandon, saluting the Texas blues and making specific allusions also to Ornette Coleman and Dewey Redman, two of Fort Worth’s freest spirits. Joe: “It’s a funky 24 bar blues with a lot of freedom in it, a tune that takes on a very different shape depending on who I’m playing it with. I was really keen to bring it to Enrico and this rhythm section.”
 
“Drum Song” features Joe on the Hungarian tarogato. He switches to tenor as the music gradually segues into Coltrane’s “Spiritual”, which boils for a while until Giovanni Guidi calms the waters with a freely rhapsodic account of “Over The Rainbow”.
Roma is issued as Enrico Rava, born in Trieste in 1939, celebrates his 80th birthday. Already contributing to historically important recordings in the late 1960s and early 70s, including The Forest And The Zoo with Steve Lacy (1967) and Carla Bley and Paul Haines’s Escalator over The Hill (1971), Rava has been an ECM artist since 1975 when The Pilgrim and the Stars was recorded. His 21st century releases include Rava On The Dance Floor and Tribe, both of which incorporate the piano of Giovanni Guidi.
Roma is Joe Lovano’s second leader or co-leader date for ECM this year, following hard on the heels of the much-praised Trio Tapestry (with Marilyn Crispell and Carmen Castaldi). Lovano made his ECM debut on Paul Motian’s Psalm in 1981, was subsequently a member of the influential trio with Motian and Bill Frisell, whose albums include It Should Have Happened A Long Ago and Time And Time Again. Joe also appears on key ECM recordings with John Abercrombie (Open Land, Within A Song), Marc Johnson (Shades of Jade) and Steve Kuhn (Mostly Coltrane).
Gerald Cleaver first appeared on ECM as a member of Roscoe Mitchell’s Note Factory Band on Nine To Get Ready in 1997. He has since played on recordings for the label with Craig Taborn, Michael Formanek, Miroslav Vitous and Tomasz Stanko.
Dezron Douglas’s discography includes recordings with Cyrus Chestnut, George Cables, Louis Hayes and Eric McPherson, as well as his own ensembles.
YEAR DATE VENUE LOCATION
2024 April 27 Auditorium San Domenico Foligno, Italy
YouTube

By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video